Signs of Drug Addiction

Are you chemically dependent on drugs or alcohol? This is a challenging question to answer on your own. We’ve compiled common signs of chemical dependency so that you may evaluate your substance use. For more information, please contact our Admissions and Assessment department.

How Can You Tell if Someone Has a Problem?

No one begins drinking or using drugs with the goal of becoming addicted. In reality, chemical dependency is a disease which develops gradually over time. While they may initially seem to have control, certain behaviors may serve as an indicator that the situation requires professional, clinical care.

If you have grown concerned about someone you love, we encourage you to consult the below list of the common signs of chemical dependency. If these items sound familiar, please contact HVRC for an assessment and customized addiction treatment plan.

Common Signs of Chemical Dependency

  • Alcohol and / or drugs often taken in larger amounts over a longer period than the person intended.
  • There is a persistent desire (or one or more unsuccessful efforts) to cut down or control the use of alcohol and/or drugs
  • There is a great deal of time spent in activities necessary to get alcohol and/or drugs, taking alcohol and/or drugs, of recovering from the effects of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • There is frequent intoxication or withdrawal symptoms when expected to fulfill a major role, obligations at work, school, or home.
  • There are important social, occupational, or recreational activities given-up or reduced because of alcohol and/or drug use.
  • There is continued alcohol and/or drug use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, psychological, or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by the use of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • There is marked tolerance: need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol and/or drugs in order to achieve intoxication or desired normal effect.
  • There is characteristic withdrawal symptoms present from the use of alcohol and/or drugs, with delayed or discontinued use.
  • The use of alcohol and/or drugs is often taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.


A positive response to three of the nine characteristic symptoms of dependence with evidence that some symptoms have persisted for at least one month, or have occurred repeatedly over a longer period of time is necessary to suggest the possibility of chemical dependency.